***This page contains data regarding transgender and nonbinary candidates
for political office in the U.S. in 2018. Click here for the current list.***
In 2015, I conducted a project (coauthored with Andrew Reynolds) to examine the success rates of transgender and gender-variant candidates for office around the world. We developed an original dataset of nearly 130 unique candidates (as of Nov. 2015) over nearly 40 years across 30 countries and counting. I have presented this research to the British Parliament, London School of Economics, and the 2015 International LGBT Leaders Conference.
I continue to catalogue transgender candidates in the United States,
often with the help of people around the country who take the time to contact me. Thank you!
This project has received press coverage, catalogued below.
Notes for Journalists Covering Transgender Issues:
Please see GLAAD's Media Reference Guides on
transgender terminology and best practices for reporting.
I would also be happy to speak with you about recommended practices for covering or discussing LGBTQ people and issues.
List of Transgender &
Nonbinary U.S. Candidates
Candidacies - 2018: 54 | 2017: 25
Victories - 2018: 10 | 2017: 10
Note: Candidates only included in above count if they make it
to the primary election. Others who announced but did not file
or make it to ballot are listed below the list of counted candidates.
Last updated October 21, 2021
(10/21/21 - adding formerly missing candidate Shannon Cuttle)
(7/18/20 - adding formerly missing candidate Cassandra Martineau)
(1/22/20 - adding formerly missing candidate Jessica Cohen)
green text=won election!
Governor (0/2 elected)
Veronika Fimbres (Green, write-in) - California (lost primary in June)
*Christine Hallquist (D) - Vermont (won primary in Aug; lost in Nov)
Lieutenant Governor (0/2 elected)
Charin Davenport (Green) - Michigan (lost general in Nov)
Kim Coco Iwamoto (D) - Hawaii (lost primary in August)
US Senate (0/2 elected)
Chelsea Manning (D) - Maryland (lost primary in June)
Paula Overby (Green) - Minnesota (lost general in Nov)
US House (0/7 elected)
Elysabeth Britt (D) - Oklahoma 5 (lost primary in June)
Alexandra Chandler (D) - Massachusetts 3 (lost primary in Sept)
Madeline Eden (D) - Texas 10 (lost primary in March)
Vanessa Edwards Foster (D) - Texas 27 (lost primary in March)
Wendy Ella May (D) - North Carolina 2 (lost primary in May)
Brianna Westbrook (D) - Arizona 8 (lost primary in Feb)
Veronikka Ziol (D) - Indiana 4 (lost primary in May)
State Senate (0/7 elected)
Dana Beyer (D) - Maryland 18 (lost primary in June)
*Lasia Casil (D) - Guam (placed in primary in Aug; lost in Nov)
Gidget Groendyk (D) - Michigan 28 (lost primary in August)
LaDon Henry (D) - Nevada 42 (lost primary in June)
*Daria Lohman (D) - Arizona 23 (won primary unopposed in Aug; lost in Nov)
Dayna Alane Smith (D) - South Carolina 20 (lost primary in August)
Brianna Westbrook (D) - Arizona 22 (filed for State Senate after losing primary for U.S. House in Feb 2018) (lost primary in August)
State House (3/11 elected)
*Lisa Bunker (D) - New Hampshire Rockingham 18 (one of four winners in Nov; one of four primary winners in Sept)
*Gerri Cannon (D) - New Hampshire Strafford 18 (one of three winners in Nov; one of three primary winners in Sept)
Dylan Forbis (D) - Texas 29 (lost primary in March)
Alice Freitas (D) - Ohio 75 (lost primary in August)
*Alanis Garcia (D) - Florida 77 (won primary in Sept; lost in Nov)
*Finnigan Jones (D) - Texas 94 (won primary unopposed in March; lost in Nov)
*Everett Maroon (D) - Washington 16 (won primary in Aug; lost in Nov)
*Amelia Marquez (D) - Montana 52 (won primary in June; lost in Nov)
Jenifer Rene Pool (D) - Texas 138 (lost primary in March)
Melissa Sklarz (D) - New York 30 (lost primary in September)
*Brianna Titone (D) - Colorado 27 (won primary unopposed in June; won in Nov)
Judge (0/1 elected)
Jill Rose Quinn (D) - Cook County IL 10th Judicial Subcircuit (lost primary in March)
Mayor (0/1 elected)
Jess Herbst (NP) - New Hope TX (lost election in May)
City Council (3/9 elected)
Jessica Cohen (NP) - Austin TX (lost in Nov)
Aidan Hill (NP), identifies as non-binary - Berkeley CA (lost in Nov)
Liz Lyke - Fairbanks AK (won general in October)
Vered Meltzer (NP) - Appleton WI (won re-election in April)
Candis Muuss - Dover VT (lost general in March)
Kathy Ottersten - Fairbanks AK (won general in October)
Danielle Skidmore (NP) - Austin TX (lost in Nov)
Alfred Twu (NP), identifies as non-binary - Berkeley CA (lost in Nov)
Allison White (NP) - Virginia Beach VA (lost in Nov)
School Board (2/5 elected)
Shannon Cuttle (NP) - South Orange-Maplewood, NJ (won in Nov)
Jay Irwin (NP) - Ralston NE (won re-election in Nov; one of three winners)
Martin Rawlings-Fein (NP) - San Francisco CA (lost in Nov)
Mia Satya (NP) - San Francisco CA (lost in Nov)
Carmen Xavier - Smithville MO (lost general in April)
Other Local Offices (2/7 elected)
Robbi Katherine Anthony (D) - County Commissioner, Spokane County WA (lost in Nov)
Aria DiMezzo (Libertarian) - Sheriff, Cheshire NH (lost in Nov)
Cassandra Martineau (Green) - Registrar of Voters, Windham CT (lost in Nov)
Monika Nemeth - Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 3F06, Washington D.C. (won general in Nov)
Veronica Pejril - Township Trustee & Advisory Board, Greencastle IN (lost in Nov)
Lis Kenneth Regula (D) - Auditor, Portage County OH (lost in Nov)
*Adam Spickler (NP) - Cabrillo Community College Board of Trustees, Santa Cruz CA - (WON unopposed in August)
17 former candidates (not included in above candidate count)
Monica DePaul (D) has deferred her candidacy for the U.S. House seat in Florida 4 to the 2020 cycle.
Juliet Germanotta (D) did not qualify for the ballot in her race for US House seat in Wisconsin 3.
Danielle VanHelsing (I) originally announced she would run for U.S. House Maine 2, then switched candidacies in Jan 2018 to State Senate Maine 4, but ultimately did not qualify for the ballot.
Jacey Wyatt (D) did not qualify for the ballot in her race for the Connecticut governorship.
Angela Bridgman (D) withdrew from her race for the state house seat in North Carolina 32, prior to filing deadline.
Jenna Marie Bourgeois (R) withdrew from her race for the U.S. House seat in Missouri 4 prior to filing deadline.
Pamela Curry (D) withdrew from her race for the state senate seat in Texas 8 prior to filing deadline.
Nika Lomazzo (D) withdrew from her race for the state house seat in Rhode Island 8 prior to the primary election.
Marina Mangiaracina withdrew from her race for the mayor of Oklahoma City, prior to the primary election.
Andrea Marra (D) withdrew from her race for the New York 13 state senate seat, prior to the primary election.
Mia Mason (D) withdrew from her race for the US Senate seat in Maryland prior to filing deadline.
Shauna O'Toole withdrew from her race for the New York 54 state senate seat, prior to filing deadline.
Danielle Pellett (D) withdrew from her race for the US House seat in Texas 32, prior to the primary election.
Ashlee Marie Preston (D) withdrew from her race for the California House seat in District 54, prior to the primary election.
Erin Shipp (D) withdrew from her race for Colorado House District 54, prior to the primary.
Misty Snow (D) withdrew from her race for U.S. House seat in Utah 2, prior to filing deadline.
Terra Snover (I) withdrew from her race for U.S. House seat in California 10, prior to filing deadline.
Laura Ann Weaver (D) withdrew from her race for the US House seat in OH 1, prior to the primary election.
Others of interest (not included in candidate count)
Shéár Avory has said they are considering a run for governor of California, but with no further related activity that I can find.
Ericka Bickford applied for interim mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania, but this position would be elected by city council, not by local residents.
Moses Carmen Humes (D) appears to be running for Colorado governor, but all online presence appears inactive.
Venn Wylde, who identifies as non-binary, filed for Multnomah County (OR) Precinct Committeeperson. This is an office elected by political party officials and not by general voters.
Click here for a list of candidates who ran in 2017.
This is the policy report format of this research project, published in October 2015 by the LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative. The data regarding candidates (at the time of publication) is included in the report's appendix. If you know of someone we missed, please email me!
Presentations & Press Coverage
"Over 150 LGBTQ candidates claim victory in midterm elections." NBC News. Julie Moreau. Nov 7.
"Our Political Party System May Be Binary But Our Candidate's Gender Need Not Be." Daily Grab Back. Oct 23.
"‘I’m Not Running Because I’m Trans’: Meet the Men Fighting to Build Power One State Legislature Seat at a Time." Rewire.News. s.e. smith. Oct 5.
"Transgender candidates could make history in upcoming races." Reuters. Daniel Trotta. Aug 10.
"Chandler poised to make historic run." Lowell Sun and Sentinel & Enterprise. Chris Lisinski. Aug 10.
"For Trans Candidates, Even Losing is Winning." The Advocate. Jacob Anderson-Minshall. July 26.
"Why Aren't More Transgender Men Involved in Virginia Politics?" GayRVA. Jo Rozycki. July 26.
"Where Are the Trans Men in Politics?" HuffPost. Natalie Vikhrov. June 2.
"For LGBTQ community, 2017 was a mixed bag." NBC News. Brooke Sopelsa and John Paul Brammer. Jan 2.
"LGBTQ Political Candidates Score Historic Victories Across U.S." NBC News. Julie Moreau. Nov 8.
"Wins for trans candidates seen as nationwide clarion call." Washington Blade. Chris Johnson. Nov 8.
"Out for votes: Battle over rights inspires more U.S. transgender candidates." Reuters. Letitia Stein. Oct 31.
"The Second Coming Out: Trans Candidates and the Quest for Public Service." Esquire Magazine. Nico Lang. Oct 25.
"For some transgender Texans, bathroom bill fight spurs bids for office." Texas Tribune. Emma Platoff. Sept 20.
"How Dan Patrick's bathroom bill galvanized transgender Texans." Dallas Morning News. Lauren McGaughy. Aug 20.
"Transgender Candidate Danica Roem Wins Virginia Primary, Makes History." NBC News. Julie Moreau. June 14.
"Will 2017 Be the 'Year of the Trans Candidate'?" NBC News. Julie Moreau. June 12.
"Trump bump? More transgender candidates seek public office." NBC News. Julie Moreau. April.
Podcast: Dialogues on Democracy. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. June.
"This map shows the 31 countries where transgender and gender-variant candidates have run for office since 1977." The Washington Post, The Monkey Cage. December.
"UNC LGBTQ Representation and Rights Initiative Publishes First Report on Transgender Officials." UNC Global. December.
Presentation at British Parliament, Westminster Palace. Co-sponsored by Kaleidoscope Trust and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights. November.
Presentation at the London School of Economics' International Inequalities Institute. November.
Presentation at the International LGBT Leaders Conference. "Out to Win: Transgender Elected Officials" panel. (here) November.
"Electing transgender officials: A new frontier in politics." The Washington Blade. November.
"Trans representation wins screen time yet loses at the ballot box." TakePart.com. November.
"The invisibility of transgender people in electoral politics around the world." The New Statesman. November.